Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.

Transcript source:

Follow Chip Kidd on Twitter: @ChipKidd

Ahh! We come upon them, the clandestine lovers. Let’s draw them out. Huhh! They’ve been discovered by the sultan. He will not be pleased. Huhh! And now the sultan is in danger. And now, we have to open it up to find out what’s going to happen next. Try experiencing that on a Kindle. (Laughter)

Don’t get me started. Seriously. Much is to be gained by eBooks: ease, convenience, portability. But something is definitely lost: tradition, a sensual experience, the comfort of thingy-ness — a little bit of humanity.

Do you know what John Updike used to do the first thing when he would get a copy of one of his new books from Alfred A. Knopf? He’d smell it. Then he’d run his hand over the rag paper, and the pungent ink and the deckled edges of the pages. All those years, all those books, he never got tired of it. Now, I am all for the iPad, but trust me — smelling it will get you nowhere. (Laughter) Now the Apple guys are texting, “Develop odor emission plug-in.” (Laughter)

And the last story I’m going to talk about is quite a story. A woman named Aomame in 1984 Japan finds herself negotiating down a spiral staircase off an elevated highway. When she gets to the bottom, she can’t help but feel that, all of a sudden, she’s entered a new reality that’s just slightly different from the one that she left, but very similar, but different. And so, we’re talking about parallel planes of existence, sort of like a book jacket and the book that it covers.

So how do we show this? We go back to Hepburn and Dietrich, but now we merge them. So we’re talking about different planes, different pieces of paper. So this is on a semi-transparent piece of velum. It’s one part of the form and content. When it’s on top of the paper board, which is the opposite, it forms this. So even if you don’t know anything about this book, you are forced to consider a single person straddling two planes of existence. And the object itself invited exploration interaction, consideration and touch.

This debuted at number two on the New York Times Best Seller list. This is unheard of, both for us the publisher, and the author. We’re talking a 900-page book that is as weird as it is compelling, and featuring a climactic scene in which a horde of tiny people emerge from the mouth of a sleeping girl and cause a German Shepherd to explode. (Laughter) Not exactly Jackie Collins. Fourteen weeks on the Best Seller list, eight printings, and still going strong.

So even though we love publishing as an art, we very much know it’s a business too, and that if we do our jobs right and get a little lucky, that great art can be great business.

So that’s my story. To be continued. What does it look like? Yes. It can, it does and it will, but for this book designer, page-turner, dog-eared place-holder, notes in the margins-taker, ink-sniffer, the story looks like this.

Thank you.


written a book - xlibris book publishing

The Piano | #BestRead

Xlibris Reviews

Author: H.J
Title: The Piano
City: Bloomington
Book Publisher: Xlibris LLC
ISBN: 978-1-49315-849-2
Published: 1/15/2014
Format: Perfect Bound Softcover



She’s his musical inspiration. He’s her writing muse. They’re as passionate about each other as they are about their professions, if not even more. Each enriches and completes the other, like pen does to paper, like notes to a melody. It’s the kind of love that everybody hopes for, one that’s gentle, honest, supportive, and true—the kind of love that they themselves had hoped for all their lives, though neither one of them had ever thought they’d find it. Gladly, each was proven wrong, but dark shadows still exist and are looming. Inner wars begin to wage. Can traumas be healed and self-forgiveness ever be found? The worlds both around and within them weaken, but the love shared between them does not—even if that’s not so clear at the time. When earthly limits are reached, soulful passion takes over and speaks instead. (Inspired by a true gentleman’s existence that I am blessed and fortunate to fondly recall. Thank you.)


Book Teaser

One… xx

The piano sat by our floor-to-ceiling window, which the evening sun shone through. He sat there with that playful smirk on his face. that smile he reserved just for me, that was somewhere between a flirty ‘Come and get me’ and ‘I love you. l’m yours’. God, I loved it.

I stood there, awestruck. He knew it and humoured me, not moving an inch. Instinctively, I reach for my notebook and click the pen to life. Studying him, I begin to write, trying to capture every emotion, every detail.

Lost in a muse. absorbed in a swirling whirlwind of thoughts. I concentrate. l’m a perfectionist. This has to be perfect, or I’ll feel inadequate. I’ll be a disappointment-a letdown. l’m struggling for words here. Behind the fog. I can hear him softly chortle; my concentration and frustration must have been written all over my face. Apparently, l’m cute when I get like that.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, stepping toward me. His hand reaches for mine, and when our fingers interlace, l’m forced to drop the pen.

“I love you. and I can’t tell you enough. I need to show you. I wish I could show you with words. but this is suffocating. God dammit!’ ln frustrated agony, I hide my face behind my hair, resting my forehead on his chest. ‘’I love you, I love you. I love you. I love you. l’m distracting you. l’m sorry”.

He giggles again softly. I feel the rise and fall of his chest. Now l’m full of butterflies-those childhood first-love butterflies that give you shivers and make your soul fly. His other hand mingles with my hair adoringly.

“No, you’re IN-SPIR-ING me, you HON-EST person”.-:) Latin. Latin root words. Spir meant breathe and honest meant perfect-most or most perfect. “I love you”.

I let out a content, relieved sigh. Somehow, I was perfect to him. Somehow none of my scars mattered. My little quirks that I personally hated made me the person that he loves. I can feel my bubbly inner child come out; in his arms, I start to wriggle and dance with happiness. I look up with the biggest smile on my face. I look up to see him smiling down at me with a smile just as big. his eyes ablaze with sparkles. Sparkles that Icaused! Sparkles of his love for me.

I kiss his nose before moving down to his lips and caressing his face in my palm. He kisses back and moves a strand of hair away from my face. “I still think you’re more perfect than I aml” I insist. He laughs that loud, joyous laugh that makes him throw his head back and sing to the sky. My heart leaps along with the rhythm.

“Oh please! Do me a favour, beautiful”. he says after he moves the rest of my hair back in place.

“Mhmml?” I’ll always be eager to please him and do my best to make sure he’s happy.

“A couple things, actually”.

“I’ll do anything”.

He kisses me softly and continues.

“One, stop hiding!” He ruffles my hair. “Two, remember I love you-every bit of you”.

I bite my lip, trying to contain the joy. I’ll never get over those words and the ramifications they brought with them.

“And three, never change. It’s enough for me if you stay just the way you are. Don’t worry about finding the right words. They’ll come. All I really need is you-your love and this heartbeat”.


About the Author

I write to inspire people, whether it’s to inspire dreams or inspire courage, and to restore hope again. [hope I can do that at some point in my lifetime. I take everything as a learning experience, a chance to grow and possibly inspire. I guess I’m the type of person who doesn’t say much, but when I do, it means a lot.

Writing really picked up for me in my early teens, though I’d always loved it as a kid. English was my favourite subject, ahead of art. In my teens, it was no longer just a fun obligation; it became my release, my venting portal. Soon enough, my writing defined me.

I don’t let much define me, but I can’t deny the power of words and experience. It’s a beautiful thing to share your story-to share your thoughts, wishes, hopes, dreams, and secrets and to watch them make an impact on someone’s life or even your own. That is what drove me to keep going back then. It’s what drove me here; it pushes me to keep
moving forward.

Needless to say, you can always find a bit of me in every one of my stories and pieces of work. Perhaps then, this ‘About the Author’ section isn’t really needed. Nonetheless, here it is for those of you who are curious as to how this little mind of mine works.

I live in the worlds I create. I create the worlds 1 live in. Pain is my inspiration.

And I am here to show you that someone understands, that you are not nor will you ever be alone, and that there’s still hope left to hold on to out there.

Sending you love, support and friendship from Canada.



written a book - xlibris book publishing

10,000 Men and Counting | #BestRead

Xlibris Reviews

Author: Gwyneth Montenegro
Title: 10,000 Men and Counting
City: Bloomington
Book Publisher: Xlibris LLC
ISBN: 978-1-49312-458-9
Published date: 2014
Format: Perfect Bound Softcover


TEN THOUSAND MEN AND COUNTING. If it were a work of fiction it’d be astonishing enough, however, contemplate if you will, that what you will read is based on a true story and you will discover the true magnificence of this title.

This hot new title of 2014 is raising eyebrows. Not only for the sometimes raunchy subject matter, but also for the unexpectedly emotional journey it takes the reader on. It’s hot, it’s very much controversial, it’s an enthralling read and importantly, it’s tasteful.

In penning this book, Gwyneth Montenegro has shared a heartfelt tale that will have women, the world over, laughing one moment and crying the next as they become enthralled in her challenging and often salacious lifestyle.

If you like a fast paced story. A true rags to riches tale of overcoming adversity then we’d encourage you to read 10,000 Men and Counting.

Follow Gwyneth Montenegro on Twitter:  @gwyneth10000 – @10kmencounting

Book Teaser:


You know what they say, it’s the quiet ones you’ve got to watch. To look at me in my jeans and T-shirt, you would never know the secrets that lie within my head. This week actually marks a milestone in my life. I have officially bedded 10,000 men. Sitting here I can’t help but relive the experiences that led me to pursue the path that I chose.

I led a rather normal happy life growing up in a household with a loving mother and father and a ‘pain in the arse’ brother. I grew up knowing that I was precious and wanted by my parents and that they loved me very much. They were both in their late thirties when they wed. You know, the kind of couple where the whole town is happy that they found each other and were finally joined in marriage. A fairy-tale romance as it were. Yes, that was my parents. 30 when my mother had both my brother and myself in her early forties, they were so very glad to be parents.

Growing up, I did all of the normal things that most children get to do. I played sport, I learned how to play the piano, and I did ballet and later changed to ballroom dancing. In my spare time, I used to love being alone with my horse. My life was indeed good.

Well, except for one thing. School. I loathed it. The best day was the last day. I was always the loner and quite shy. I was an easy target for the school bullies. I preferred my own company and found escape through horse riding. Galloping down the beach. the salty wind slicing through my hair and the sheer rush of adrenaline as I clenched the reins through my palms and held on for dear life-this was indeed living for me.

The single most important person in my life was my father. He was the most amazing father one could hope For. He was my best friend and understood me. He would take me under his wing, and even though he was insanely busy, he had time to listen to me and to teach me the craft of being an entrepreneur. He taught me much about building wealth and leveraging of? the money that you earned. I was awe inspired and very much wanted to be a business woman one day. I liked the idea of being in control of my finances and my destiny and not being at the mercy of others just like I was at school. I somehow made the connection in my early teens that money was control and power and that he who had the money could write their own destiny.

I always felt compelled to have control over my life and to be able to be my own person. I hadn’t of course figured out how, but I just knew that being an entrepreneur was my destiny. I wanted so many things for my life and didn’t want anyone to dictate my life. I wanted it on my terms and mine alone. I had a lust for life, for freedom. There was such a stark contrast in my home life and the liberties I had, than at school. At home. I was allowed to be me, to grow into a young woman that had no predetermined expectations put on her young shoulders by her parents. but just to find the life that would make me, as an individual, happy. I didn’t grow up…

About the Author:

AUTHOR Gwyneth Montenegro lives a reclusive life in her ocean side residence and loves nothing more than to join her four legged companion, Laddie, For a peaceful morning stroll along a secluded beach. She has long preached the value of a healthy mind and a healthy body. Gwyneth Montenegro is an inspiring philanthropist with a passion for drawing attention to human rights issues the world over.

written a book - xlibris book publishing

New cover for a new, revisited version


Cover: Escaping the boy: My Life with a Sociopath Revisited Paperback copies of Escaping the Boy: My Life with a Sociopath Revisited are now available for pre-order through  the Xlibris site. (The e-book will be available for the Nook and Kindle and all other e-formats soon.)

Why “Revisited?” Well, after publishing it through Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing as an e-book ONLY and receiving great feedback about what could make it better, I revisited it and made it better. (I hope.)

I added a new Preface and introductory chapter on Identifying Narcissistic Sociopaths. I also expanded the Aftermath chapter and added an Afterword, which speaks to the growing and silent epidemic of domestic violence and intimate partner abuse.

Together we CAN get the message to more victims, survivors, family members, and all supporters interested in ending DV/IP. No one is alone in this battle, and there is hope to reach inner peace and happiness in this lifetime.


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